Survey: Shots fired at Chattanooga officers exceeds national ave - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Survey: Shots fired at Chattanooga officers exceeds national average

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It's no secret that police officers have dangerous jobs, but new numbers show Chattanooga police officers might be faced with more threatening scenarios than in other larger cities.

Details of a national survey show more than twice as many officers at the Chattanooga Police Department have been shot at, or have come face-to-face with an armed suspect compared to other cities of this size.

"It's discouraging, it's scary. I mean we're losing officers daily somewhere across this country to gunfire," said Capt. Kim Noorbergen.

Capt. Noorbergen had her own scary experience during a patrol stop off near Highland Park twenty-five years ago.

It was the first time she was shot at while on the job.

"And he put the gun to my head and fired it two times, it misfired, I heard the "click, click" I knew he had a gun," Capt. Noorbergen said.

Capt. Noorbergen made it home safely that night, but unfortunately it wasn't the only time she's come close to losing her life while on patrol.
    
A survey released last week by the U.S. Department of Justice compares the number of firearm assaults against Chattanooga officers to other cities of the same size.

Cities with populations from 100,000 - 249,999 people saw an average of 7.2 assaults per 100,000 people.
    
Chattanooga officers reported 18.3 assaults per 100,000.

Part of the survey also provided training scenarios, and suggestions for officers. It's data that's changing the way police officers are trained.

"We're teaching them that if they are assaulted that that doesn't mean they're down, that means to get up, fight harder to survive, to do what you have to do to protect yourself and protect the citizens," Noorbergen said.

Training now focuses on what to look for during an encounter with a suspect, what equipment to use and how to make the best judgment call under pressure.

Capt. Noorbergen believes the number of guns on the streets will not be declining any time soon.

"We're taking so many guns off the street that we're teaching to assume that everybody could have a gun," she said.

Chattanooga Police say on average they remove more than two illegal firearms a day and last year they've confiscated more than 700 illegal firearms in the city.

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